PETALING JAYA: The government is studying the possibility of turning Langkawi into a pilot project for the tourism bubble before it reopens the country, says Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
In a statement on Sunday (Aug 15) announcing the reopening of more economic sectors in all phases of the National Recovery Plan with conditions as well as benefits for those vaccinated, Muhyiddin said that the Langkawi pilot project was very important as it would determine the future of the tourism industry of the country.
"The Health Ministry and health experts have suggested that the government implement the plan (to make Langkawi a tourism bubble) when the island has reached 80% vaccination rate for its population," said Muhyiddin.
"The groups allowed to visit Langkawi will be limited to individuals who have completed their vaccination," he added.
Muhyiddin said that the proposal was being studied by Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri and would be finalised in a few more discussions.
"Besides Langkawi, the government also has plans to implement such tourism bubbles in other destinations with good exit and entry points such as other recreation islands," said Muhyiddin.
He added that it all depends on the pilot project of Langkawi.
The tourism industry, which was one of the major income-generating industries for the country, had been completely ravaged by the pandemic as Malaysia has yet to open its borders.
Domestic tourism was also affected badly with billions lost since the pandemic started as many areas with Covid-19 cases as crossing state borders was still not allowed for most.